Keuffel & Esser 1419P Chain Scale

This 6" boxwood pocket ruler has a white celluloid coating along both long edges on both sides. On one side, the top edge is divided to 1/10" and numbered by ones in both directions from 0 to 6. The bottom edge is divided to 1/40" and numbered by twos in both directions from 0 to 24. The middle of this side is marked: KEUFFEL & ESSER (/) N.Y.; PARAGON (/) 1419P; TRADE MARK (below the K&E eagle logo). It is also marked: LARSEN.
The other side is divided along the top edge to 1/50" and numbered by twos in both directions from 0 to 30. The bottom edge is divided to 1/30" and numbered by twos in both directions from 0 to 18. The middle of this side is marked: LARSEN. An orange leather sheath is marked: K & E CO. The back of the sheath is marked: P. M. L.
Keuffel & Esser of New York City sold model 1419P with a celluloid coating from 1913, for $1.35, to at least 1954, for $4.20. The markings on this example suggest it was made between 1913 and 1921.
William J. Ellenberger (1908–2008) donated this object, which he presumably acquired secondhand from P. M. Larsen. Ellenberger studied electrical and mechanical engineering at The George Washington University between 1925 and 1934. He then worked for the Potomac Electric Power Company and the National Bureau of Standards. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He was a civilian construction management engineer for the army from 1954 to 1968, when he became a private consultant.
References: Catalogue of Keuffel & Esser Co., 33rd ed. (New York, 1909), 184; Catalogue of Keuffel & Esser Co., 34th ed. (New York, 1913), 177; Catalogue of Keuffel & Esser Co., 36th ed. (New York, 1921), 124; Catalogue of Keuffel & Esser Co., 38th ed. (New York, 1936), 213; Catalogue of Keuffel & Esser Co., 42nd ed. (New York, 1954), 182; "The GW Engineering Hall of Fame 2006 Inductees,"
Currently not on view
Object Name
scale rule
date made
Keuffel & Esser Co.
Physical Description
boxwood (overall material)
celluloid (overall material)
leather (overall material)
overall: .2 cm x 18 cm x 2.5 cm; 3/32 in x 7 3/32 in x 31/32 in
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Drafting, Engineering
Rule, Measuring
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Scale Rules
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of William J. Ellenberger
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.